De La Rosa’s dash gives FredNats walk-off win

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals gave up three runs to the Salem Red Sox in the top of the ninth inning, but managed to squeak out a win anyway on Tuesday night with a 7-6 walk-off victory.

With the infield in, Junior Martina’s chopper to third base allowed Jeremy De La Rosa to scamper home and give the FredNats their second win in a row and their fifth walk-off of the season.

Both teams relied heavily on their bullpens, as Jackson Rutledge departed after 1.1 innings of hitless baseball and Jeremy Wu-Yelland got only four outs before being roughed up in the second inning.

Kevin Strohschein opened the scoring with a solo homer in the second, his team-leading 10th of the year. Braian Fernández added to the lead with an RBI triple, and scored on an RBI single from Jake Boone. By the time Boone scored on a wild pitch, the FredNats led 4-0.

The FredNats walked the bases full in the third, and took advantage of a throwing error from catcher Alex Erro on a pickoff attempt to score two more runs and take a 6-0 lead. Matt Merrill held the lead until the fifth, when Gilberto Jiménez hit an RBI single and Matthew Lugo hit a two-run double to cut the margin in half.

Tanner Driskill and Amos Willingham each kept the 6-3 lead intact with scoreless relief appearances, but the Red Sox rallied in the top of the ninth against Troy Stainbrook. After a single and two walks, Nick Yorke hit a two-run double to draw Salem to within a run. Tomás Alastre (W, 2-1) entered and allowed the tying run to score on a Jiménez bunt, but stranded Yorke at third to keep the game tied.

In the bottom of the ninth, De La Rosa led off with a sharp single against Miguel Suero (L, 0-1). He stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and sprinted home on Martina’s grounder to third. He got in just ahead of the throw, ending the game and giving the FredNats a walk-off win.

The FredNats continue their series against the Salem Red Sox on Wednesday. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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